The wellspring of talent and commitment to art in Edmonds are evident on every street and park.
Wander the beach by the ferry and "Watch the Whales" beside a sculpture of the same name by Richard Beyer. Nearby, children play in a dinghy (“Beach Launch” by Robert Cooke) and seals clamber to shore near a child on his father’s shoulders (“Locals” by Georgia Gerber), and another piece by Beyer called “Seeing Whales,” a whimsical family with seagulls atop their heads. Frequently photographed at the fishing pier is “Breakwater Run” and “Sea Rise Run” by Lewis "Buster" Simpson, kinetic art pieces of metal fish in flight.
As Washington State’s first designated Creative District, Edmonds is devoted to creating engaging public spaces. Many of those beachfront pieces were commissioned by the Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation. With 35 permanent sculptural installations and 203 two- and three-dimensional indoor artworks in public spaces, as well as a great many privately-owned and publicly-viewable art pieces, Edmonds’ dedication to creativity and community is noteworthy.
That commitment comes from deep within the community — people who actively promote public art and elect leadership committed to it. Consider the latest installation, a mural across the side of The Papery, where the talented Andy Eccleshall, advised by Tulalip Tribes member and artist Ty Juvenil, re-created what Edmonds may have looked like when the Coast Salish peoples lived here before European colonization. Many tribes gathered and harvested on Edmonds’ shores and wetlands. The mural is inspired by the epic style of Sydney Laurence (1865-1940), a renowned American Romantic landscape painter, a style in which Edmonds artist Eccleshall excels. Juvenil is also creating a cedar panel carving for display outside the Edmonds Historical Museum.
The mural was commissioned by Mural Project Edmonds, a consortium of artists, gallery owners, and community members who formed the project with the concept that murals are not permanent, but, like a gallery, may continually change and evolve in the creative process.
Head from the waterfront to the downtown core, where the iconic Main Street fountain is part of a larger art piece, "Cedar Dreams" by Benson Shaw. The pattern in the street, created with alternating textured and aggregate concrete, reflects sawdust spinning off the logs and the saw blades from Edmonds’ historic shingle mills. Cast concrete benches repeat the pattern of the balustrade around the center water feature, welded bronze, and stainless steel pergola. This is only one of 40 pieces in the downtown area alone.
There are so many more murals and public sculptures. You can spend nearly a full day seeing and appreciating them all. View an interactive map of outdoor art here. Take the time to discover them all. Art has the power to change you.